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Patents are rights, not privileges; Jefferson story is “historical myth”

Is it any wonder why patents are widely despised and holders mistrusted? Patents and other IP rights have been caught in the perfect storm of anger towards the government, the entitled, and ideas too complex to fathom on Instagram. Patents are difficult to explain and uncertain in nature. To many people they represent inscrutable and insurmountable barriers […]

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Shares of patent licensing cos were off in 2Q after a torrid start to year

After a record-breaking first quarter, public IP company shares (PIPCOs) under-performed most stocks versus the S&P 500 index in the second quarter. Following a five-year leading return of 13.1%, vs. 0.8% for the S&P 500, the PIPX IP Sector Index of 13 patent licensing stocks fell in the second quarter -4.4% vs. a 1.9% gain […]

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A record number of major holders were granted far fewer US patents

Many significant tech companies experienced dramatic declines in US patent grants, fueling speculation about the reasons why.  While total patent grants were virtually flat, according to USPTO data, down just 53 patents from 326,032 to 325,979, and utility patent grants and applications were up, many top US holders received significantly fewer US patent grants in 2015. […]

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Musicians want fairer streaming fees; inventors want patent licenses

In a digital world, fair compensation for creative expression or new ideas, like music and inventions, requires more determination than ever. Intellectual property piracy has become an insidious problem, affecting a wide range of  individuals and industries, including recording and technology. The effect of low payment – as opposed to no payment – has been […]

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Enganging IP book for students is free via iBooks or PDF, $.99 Kindle

The US intellectual property system is the envy of nations everywhere. Despite this, confusion reigns about what are patents and other IP rights, and whom do they serve. A new book has been published that makes it easier for college students and non-IP professionals, including inventors, engineers and investors to understand how IP rights work […]

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Symantec acquires Blue Coat, a leading IPR filer with a $289M loss

Cybersecurity firm Blue Coat Systems has decided to opt-out of an initial public offering and sell itself to software security leader Symantec for $4.65 billion.  What has not been widely reported in the press is that Blue Coat, a relatively small cybersecurity company with a loss of $289 million in 2015, is a leading filer of […]

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“All Prior Art” algorithm won’t stop bad patents or actors

Stopping new inventions dead in their tracks by making them “automatically” unpatentable might sound like a good idea to some. However, programming a computer to disclose an endless combination of dubious inventions is more effective at stopping bad patents in theory, not practice. At least that is what three experienced patent attorneys told me recently. […]

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Contrarian patent investors see opportunity where others see risk

The emergence of contrarian patent investors – bargain hunters hoping to cash in on decidedly soft market for  licensing and sales – are an indication that the bottom of the bear market for patents may be at hand. A number of operating companies and some NPEs have been quietly acquiring patent families and portfolios at bargain rates. […]

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Financial patent summit to focus on IP and cybersecurity, July 20-21

Fintech, or financial technology, is a rapidly growing industry with more than $15 billion of venture capital invested to date and even more on the part of financial institutions. An array of banks, e-commerce businesses, product developers, and software companies are vying for a leadership role in financial transactions and cybersecurity. Those interested in IP […]

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PIPCO stocks soar in a surprising first half for the second quarter

In what some patent holders are hoping will be a harbinger of things to come, publicly traded IP licensing companies are enjoying an unusually strong second quarter. Year to date performance for some of the key players include Marathon (MARA), up 40.62% as of the close of the market on May 17. This is as […]

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“Building an Innovation Economy” is focus of latest Hoover IP² event

IP², an initiative of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, last week hosted a more than 60 IP scholars, economists and practitioners to hear and challenge research about “Building and Innovation Economy – The Mechanics of the Patent System.”  Hoover IP2 is a working group on intellectual property, innovation and prosperity. Its goals are to build a network of […]

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Media use of patent “troll” is unfair says professor in Stanford Technology Law Review

The use of inaccurate, prejudicial language by newspapers, business publications and technology magazines to describe patent licensing activity biases readers and courts. That is among the findings from research conducted by Illinois Institute of Technology – Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor, Edward Lee. Writing in the Stanford Technology Law Review, Professor Lee states that while “some […]

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